Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah on Monday demanded that the army explain its position with reference to former military ruler Pervez Musharraf’s statement, in which he had claimed the army was upset over his trial.
“If army is not with Musharraf, it should rebuff his statement,” he said, adding that its silence could be misconstrued as its consent.
Speaking to newsmen after Public Accounts Committee (PAC) meeting, Shah said Musharraf, by claiming to have army’s support, was trying to involve it in the treason case.
Earlier, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari declared that defending Musharraf in treason case was also ‘treason’.
Musharraf’s interview also attracted response from the government side, as Federal Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid advised him to express his views in the court instead of doling out sensational statements in the media. He was talking to reporters on Monday.
The former military ruler, while talking to a foreign news agency, had said that he was leaving his treason trial issue to incumbent Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), Gen Raheel Sharif.
“I would say the whole army is upset. Certainly, they wouldn’t like anything happening to their ex-army chief,” he had claimed adding, however, that the army was not his last hope.
“Though the army chief has the final word but the top brass always goes through due consultations before an important decision is taken. Let’s see what the COAS does in this case,” Musharraf had said.
The case is due to resume on January 1, but Musharraf said he had not yet decided whether or not he would attend the proceedings.
British lawyers will monitor treason trial
Human rights activists and UK-based lawyers Toby Cadman and Solicitor Raza Anjum say they will monitor Musharraf’s trial and report to the United Nations and human rights bodies across the world, at a press conference with a member of Musharraf’s legal team Barrister Saif ur Rehman.
Saif did not confirm whether Musharraf will appear before the special court on Thursday. “We are deliberating on this issue and no decision has been taken so far,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 31st, 2013.
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